From the Set: Conversations with the Elves of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

On a soundstage in Wellington in the summer of last year, there was built a most peculiar machine. Imagine a loop of rushing river rapids, designed and constructed for the sole purpose of of transporting Dwarves. By the barrel full.

This is the mad genius of Peter Jackson, who, as his cast continues to whirl around and around an enormous artificial river-loop, is catching on film their likely-genuine looks of panic. When he checks out playback on the monitor, he also checks out the 3D. Although there are extra sets of 3D glasses all around, Jackson keeps his own — an Iron Man pair from the then-just-released Marvel’s The Avengers — on a string around his neck.

One of the more iconic scenes from J.R.R. Tolkien’s original book, Bilbo and the Dwarves’ barrel escape is set to be included in the December 13 release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, the second part of Jackson’s new Middle-earth trilogy. Although ComingSoon.net previously reported in-depth about our experiences on the Wellington set (as well as on a road trip across Middle-earth), we were asked to hold any specific references to the second film until now. That means that we’re finally able to share our conversations with both Orlando Bloom, reprising his role as Legolas, and with Evangeline Lilly, whose newly-created Elven character, Tauriel, is destined to be a fan favorite.

Lilly, it is should be noted, is actually the redacted name mentioned in our initial report and instantly shamed a room full of online journalists by correcting our pronunciation of the word “Smaug.” As she correctly explains in the below interview, it’s “Sm-ow-g” rather than “Sm-aw-g.”

Click on either Legolas or Tauriel to check out full interviews with Orlando Bloom and Evangeline Lilly: